Phyu Sin Aye earned her medical degree from the University of Medicine, Myanmar. She worked at the Department of Medical Research for three years involving in various population-based researches. Her interests are epidemiology, biostatistics, chronic diseases, and health care services. She went on to complete her Master of Public Health at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, with a focus on cancer epidemiology and health services. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the Open University, UK and continues her research on international cancer survival gaps and the association with health systems performance in seeking to improve cancer outcomes.
Background: The recent CONCORD-2 international cancer survival study1showed that the disparity in cancer survival outcomes among countries remained substantial. Cancer survival, a measure of survival of a patient from the time of diagnosis of cancer to a given time such as 1 year, 5 years and so on, is a key measure to reflect health care services for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This study aims to address the international cancer survival gaps and indicate the components of health systems performance which may be improved effectively to bring down those gaps.
Methods: This study uses publicly available secondary data: survival data of 10 major cancers for 67 countries available from CONCORD-2 study and the health systems performance indicators for various countries available from published academic papers, health statistics of OECD and WHO, and official Ministry of Health websites. The z-test is used to address the international cancer survival gaps and multivariable regression is performed to understand the effects of health systems performance indicators and other influencing factors on cancer survival outcomes.
Findings and discussion: There are statistically significant differences in cancer survival across the world, ranging from 3.4% difference in colon cancer survival to as high as 61.9% difference in rectal cancer survival when one country is compared to the country with a highest global level for each cancer. These values of cancer survival gaps represent room